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Accuracy of gadolinium-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance in the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis


Cardiac arrhythmias are highly prevalent in cardiac sarcoidosis, however identification of cardiac involvement in sarcoidosis remains challenging. The role of gadolinium-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in the diagnosis of Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) is not well established.


This study analyzed the accuracy of CMR in the diagnosis of CS among patients with findings suggestive of CS.


We performed gadolinium-enhanced CMR in 50 consecutive sarcoidosis patients (63% females) who presented with symptoms suggestive of cardiac involvement. Imaging protocol included steady-state acquisition cine imaging, T2-weighted black blood imaging and post-contrast delayed enhancement on a 1.5-T scanner. The diagnostic accuracy of CMR for CS was determined using the Japanese criteria (JMH) as the gold standard.


The diagnosis of CS was made according to JMH criteria in 9 of 50 patients (18%). CMR revealed patchy late gadolinium enhancement (LGE), mostly involving basal and lateral segments in 12 patients. The presenting symptoms of these patients were AV block, ventricular arrhythmia and heart failure. Using the JMH as the gold standard, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and overall accuracy of CMR were 89%, 90%, 67%, 97% and 90% respectively. The Kappa agreement between the JMH criteria and CMR was 0.70. Interestingly, 4 patients had evidence of CS on CMR but did not meet the JMH criteria, while 1 patient who met JMH had no evidence of LGE.


In patients with sarcoidosis, CMR is a useful diagnostic tool to determine cardiac involvement, and is able to recognize an additional 11% of patients with probable cardiac sarcoidosis. JMH criteria alone may miss one third of CS cases. While this may be worse in asymptomatic patient, including CMR in the workup of CS may improve the diagnostic yield.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Tzogias, L., Njeim, M., Singh, G. et al. Accuracy of gadolinium-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance in the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 11 (Suppl 1), P285 (2009).

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